[LONG] (sub)licensing issue

Jerome Alet alet at unice.fr
Thu Apr 11 14:48:49 UTC 2002

On Thu, 11 Apr 2002, Alessandro Rubini wrote:

> The program as a whole must be licensed according to GPL terms, but each
> part (file or whatever) can still be licensed in a different way as
> long as it's a gpl-compatible license.

what does "Program as a whole"  mean ? (sorry)

does this mean : 

	- their own package without my library
	- a big-package : all their code + mine

> Thus, your used can't distribute the binary unless on GPL terms, but
> some parts can be reused according to different terms.


> However, please be careful when talking about "BSD" license, as
> there's not one of such licenses.
> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/bsd.html explains why it is unclear to
> talk about BSD-style licenses.

I'll check again, thanks for the tip.

> > I'm currently trying to make the other software authors change their
> > license to GPL to comply with my module's license.
> It's not needed. But the program _as_a_whole_ must be GPL'd if they
> include your code.

still not clear for me, see above.

> They can close their source, but not link them with your library in
> that case. So they don't need to change license to use your library
> in the free release; they just won't be able to use the library in a
> non-free release.

ok, I understand

> > 	1 - give them my software under the BSD license in exchange
> >             of money.
> Yes. Why still releasing to the public the GPL version. Sure people
> can distribute the BSD version, but if yours is the "official" one you
> most likely won't loose control of it.  But yes, having to
> "competitors" in this way might be very bad to handle.

Yes it may be a problem

> > 	2 - allow them to give/resell and/or close their sources which
> >             include my own BSDized (or other) sources. 
> You might give them a copy with a different license, still not BSD,
> that they could use in the non-free version. They should have no problem
> in linking the GPL library from the free distribution.

> > 	3 - don't allow any of their "client" to extract my library's
> >             sources from their  whole package and redistribute it
> >             under the BSD license, since I want to keep my library
> >             under the GPL for the rest of the world.
> That's whay I say above, but your terms are wrong. IF there's such
> clause than it's not BSD at all.

ok so I delete 3 and then I must "innovate" to crunch my 
BSD/proprietary  competitors ;-)
Not that bad, after all !

> Hope this helps

> > I've asked to the FSF but I've got no answer yet.
> Sorry, we are very backlogged.

No problem.

Thanks to all for the invaluable help !

Jerome Alet - alet at unice.fr - http://cortex.unice.fr/~jerome
Fac de Medecine de Nice        http://wwwmed.unice.fr 
Tel: (+33) 4 93 37 76 30     Fax: (+33) 4 93 53 15 15
28 Avenue de Valombrose - 06107 NICE Cedex 2 - FRANCE

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